We reached Evergreen Campsite (a National Forestry Service site) last night; about 5 miles from the West entrance to Yosemite.
It looked a bit like this;
and in the dark, under a nearly full moon, a bit like this:
To begin with, we might have been a bit disappointed to have not been able to get on to Yosemite itself, but in the end this place was one of the best. Nearly nothing there; no water nor electric, (as usual with the state/forestry service campgrounds) and what can only loosely be described as a toilet if you were brave (the doors were made of heavy metal, with a rock in front of them to stop the bears getting in).
Although I really don't understand all that effort to stop the bears getting in to the toilets! I mean, can't they just sh.., sorry, defecate, in the woods? And can they flush properly?
Anyhow. That evening, because we were late to get a spot, we managed to share with a couple of bikers, Jim and Adelle. They were from Oklahoma (or thereabouts). Such nice people!
We had a laugh as they warned us about earthquakes (Adelle lived in San Diego) and tornadoes (in Oklahoma)!
Today we went back into Yosemite Park, and bought some goodies (I even bought a jumper - I look a bit like a pregnant lumberjack in it).
Then on the drive around the valley loop we saw our first (and last!) bear. It crossed the road right in front of us. Fortunately it did use the Green Cross Code (stopping and looking before venturing across). If you do manage to hit one, I would imagine it takes a while for the crows to clear that roadkill.
Then Lewis and I went on our big hike, and Sarah and Beth stayed with the RV by the river and did some art.
Our hike was a bit of an adventure....
We decided to go serious, and attempt the 4 mile trail from the valley floor up to Glacier Point. All in all the round trip walk would be 12 miles!
Starting from where we parked the RV on the wrong side of the river (: , we walked across the meadows and then waded the main river (killing my phone in the process; isn't it strange how rivers always seem shallower and less strong from the bank?). Then we met the 4 mile trail and started our trog up the mountain...
The route is described as 'moderately strenuous'.
Who for? Prospective SAS recruits preparing for Selection? The trail climbs nearly 4000 feet over 4.5 miles, and in 95F conditions, that is hard work!!
Even Lewis at one point said that he was too tired to talk. Can you believe it?
Anyway; we got as far as Union Point (about 1 mile short of the summit) before deciding a. time was short to get back on schedule. b. we were knackered. c. we were very thirsty! (Despite taking enough water to bath in).
These are the photos we took of the view from Union Point - Yosemite is impressive!
After a bit of a breather and lunch, we started back down again; which is quicker, but kills your thighs and calfs as you try not to go too quickly back down the 3000 feet. Not long after we had started back, we crossed over with a lady and her two grandsons whom we had earlier passed when we were going up and they were going down. The lady told me that she had asked for a horse to come and get her - I thought she was joking before I saw her face. The three of them had attempted the walk down from Glacier Point - the lady's husband would collect them from the valley. However, Margaret had been slightly over ambitious! Her legs just wouldn't take her any further, and she was using her phone (apparently she wasn't stupid enough to immerse it in a cold river) to get help.
So I left her there and went on my way.
No, of course not.
She didn't know exactly where she was, so I told her that there was a stream a little bit further down, and that I could help her get there so that the mountain rescue would know where to find her. I only told a white lie about the stream being a 'little bit' further.
Suffice to say I helped support her on one arm, and then found a stick that she could use as a walking stick until we finally made it to the stream, while Lewis took the boys (14 and 11) ahead.
By the time we reached the stream we were behind schedule, and had used up the last of our water on the slow descent, so after making sure help was on its way, and leaving Margaret with her feet in the cool stream, we started back.
On the way, we met the mountain rescue team, who tried to ignore us, thinking that we were just meddling probably ! But anyway, in the end we persuaded them that we needed some drink, and that the lady was ok. I hope that turned out to be true.
At the bottom of the valley we met Margaret's husband (Rod), and managed to grab more water off him! The last two miles back were very hot and tiring indeed - but we got home happy!
Later on Beth and Lewis went swimming in the river right in front of where we parked the RV for the day. Such a beautiful spot!
Suffice to say, we all liked Yosemite! We went back to the campsite tired but satisfied, and had ourselves a bbq over a wood fire. No marshmallows this time. I think we've given that one up as a bad job.